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School Street Playhouse brings to life the story 1920s burlesque star in debut of ‘Gypsy’ on June 3
Gypsy
BKR Productions will debut “Gypsy” on the local stage on Friday, June 3, which will run through June 26, giving audiences a night filled with music and a compelling, glamorous story. - photo by Sabrina Kerns

Local talent at Tam’s School Street Playhouse are telling the real-life story of the star-studded Gypsy Lee Rose this summer with their rendition of a classic musical production set in the 1920s and ‘30s.

BKR Productions will debut “Gypsy” on the local stage on Friday, June 3, which will run through June 26, giving audiences a night filled with music and a compelling, glamorous story.

Director Kyle Larson said the musical centers around Gypsy, whose real name is Louise, and her time growing up with her family during the depression when vaudeville theater started dying out and burlesque became the new, appealing form of stage entertainment.

In the production, Louise and her sister, June, are pressured by their mother, Rose, to find success in show business after failing to break into the industry for herself. But with flowing blonde hair and a cute look, Rose always focused more of her attention on June, leaving Louise in the dust.

“She was shy and gawky and awkward and was always pushed away by the mother,” Larson said. “So the story is really about the love between the mother and the daughter and the two sisters — that triangle.”

But after some time, June starts losing bookings in the dying-out vaudeville shows while Louise discovers the brand new world of burlesque. Proving herself to her mother and family, Louise becomes the star of the show.

“It’s a Cinderella story, basically,” Larson said. “She was this little brown bird and turns into Gypsy Rose Lee.”

Larson said that Gypsy was a stripper at the time, but not in the same way people think of strippers today. 

“People didn’t take off their clothes,” Larson said. “It was still the illusion of something else was behind the costume. So we are not taking off all our clothes — it is a family-friendly show.”

In fact, Larson said the production’s cast is filled with families.

Megan Jurkovic stars as Rose alongside her young daughter who also plays a young June, and the family doesn’t stop there. Aubrey Peat, playing Louise, acts with her sister and dad in the show, another actress works with her daughter and son, and a group of triplets are featured.



Jurkovic said she loves having her daughter up on stage with her and working with the rest of the cast.

She has vast experience in performing as an actor and singer, working on musical theater tours, singing on cruise ships and traveling the world with her talents. But she said nothing can beat the appeal of working with her family close by at a community theater that brings excellent productions to the people’s backyards.

“You really walk out of here, in my opinion, with you get way more than what you pay for,” Jurkovic said. “And that makes me proud.”

While Jurkovic has been a part of several shows at Tam’s School Street Playhouse, she said Rose has been one of her favorite characters to play.

Pushing her kids, Louise and June, into carrying out her own dreams, Jurkovic said many usually see Rose as the villain of the story.

“But, like we do in theater, we dig a little bit deeper and see that she’s actually just a very driven, strong, opinionated woman,” Jurkovic said.

She hopes that she get across to the audience that Rose is more than just “the original stage mom.” She is a complicated woman who grew up in hard times and a broken home. She pushes her kids because she wants them to know success in a way she couldn’t.

Jurkovic said that duality in Rose’s story makes her fun to play, and she’s excited to show the audience a new and different side of this classic character.

Larson explained that “Gypsy” has been adapted into several different productions, including a movie. But this production is all about how Gypsy Lee Rose became who she was, showing off the inner workings of her family alongside musical hits she said everyone can recognize.

The score includes hits such as “Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” “Let Me Entertain You,” “Some People,” “You’ll Never Get Away From Me,” and “If Momma Was Married.”

The show will take place every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from June 3, through June 26, and tickets are available now at www.schoolstreetplayhouse.com. The playhouse is located at 101 School Street in Cumming.

Gypsy
BKR Productions will debut “Gypsy” on the local stage on Friday, June 3, which will run through June 26, giving audiences a night filled with music and a compelling, glamorous story. - photo by Sabrina Kerns